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She had a Green Daddy.
Charley had never met him before, but that was because Mummy said that Daddy didn't like to show people Green Daddy. She said Green Daddy scared him and Charley understands that because she's afraid of the dark.
But still her Mummy and Daddy, and her aunts and uncles, prepared her and the others for when it might happen. There's a special hiding place that Uncle Tony had built into practically every room of the house – they were all connected together, like their very own home within a home, just big enough for them – and JARVIS was to keep a close eye on them until he was given the all clear. They had emergency call buttons and, at her Daddy's insistence, ways to protect themselves.
It all seemed a bit excessive to her – that's what Mummy called it – but she did it anyway without making a fuss, because it made the tension in Daddy's shoulders relax just a little bit.
And Charley was fine with that. In fact, she kind of liked the training sessions because the hiding space was like a whole new world for her, and she especially liked the evenings after, before bedtime, when Daddy would pull her into his lap, pressing kisses to her forehead, and telling her that he would always look after her and there was nothing to be scared of – "Because you're save as long as I'm here to protect you, okay?" he would tell her.
And then she met her Green Daddy.
She didn't really know what had happened – there was a lot of shouting and crashing and panicking and, although Sep had frowned and told her that they should stay in the play room, Charley left to investigate. He was huge, taller than Uncle Thor – and he was really tall – and green, like the colour of her eyes; bright and vibrant. He grunted and huffed loudly, hands clenched into fists at his side, and his shoulders were hunched in an almost protective stance. Charley stared at his back wide eyed, and clutched her toy monkey closer to her chest.
"M-mummy? Daddy?" she stuttered.
Green Daddy rounded towards her. Charley screamed and took panicked steps backwards until she was pressed firmly against the wall behind her, stalling her movements any further. Green Daddy halted suddenly, looked confused. In the corner of her eye, she could see her Mummy's worried face and her fright grew.
Green Daddy stumbled forward awkwardly on large feet and Charley clenched her eyes shut, recoiling from the sight before her. Her heart pounded in her chest. But nothing happened and, when she cracked her eyes open, Green Daddy was just standing there, looking at her just like Daddy does, with one finger held out towards her. He seemed to wait until she had slacked slightly, shoulders dropping from their protective stance before he pushed the tip of his finger against her chest, the pressure firm and comforting and familiar.
It was Daddy's thing. Whenever she would get upset or scared, Daddy would pull her close with wide smiles and soothing words and would poke her softly, just over her heart, like he was giving her a secret message, something only shared between the two of them.
Green Daddy was frozen in place and staring at her imploringly, wonderingly, hopefully.
A smile broke across her face, and she reached up to grasp his finger as she would with Daddy – it was bigger than her whole hand. Green Daddy breathed out heavily, the air brushing over her face and blowing her hair back over her shoulder.
Charley giggled happily. Green Daddy gave her a crooked smile.